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National champions crowned at 2021 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships

  • 20 Feb 21

After a two-day delay due to the Twizel Region’s Alert Level 2 status, the 2021 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships commenced on Thursday 20 February with a condensed three-day schedule. All Finals were contested on Saturday 20 February with racing concluding with the women’s and men’s premier eight events in a new draft format.

Waikato Rowing Club were awarded both the Centennial Scull (top Club in sculling events) and Centennial Oar (top Club in all events), with Canterbury Rowing Association taking home the Hallyburton Johnstone Rose Bowl recognising the top Association in eight boat events.

For full results from today visit rowit.nz

SKY Sport’s coverage of the 2021 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships will begin screening from 25 February.

Open Para Single

Ashburton Rowing Club’s Isabel Wall won the women’s PR 3 open para single, with Hawkes Bay Rowing Club’s Gavin Foulsham taking gold in the men’s PR2 open para single and Rotorua Rowing Club’s Anthony Spijkerman taking silver.

Women’s Premier Single

World Champion in the women’s double Brooke Donoghue of Waikato RPC won the women's premier single scull in a spectacular race, just 0.19 seconds ahead silver medalist Emma Twigg, also of Waikato RPC. Current World Champion in the lightweight women’s double scull Jackie Kiddle of Central RPC took bronze.

Men’s Premier Single

Southern RPC and Elite Development Squad member Jack Lopas impressed spectators and competitors alike with his 7:02.71 first place finish in the men’s premier single. Lopas last represented New Zealand in the 2019 World Rowing U23 Championships and was selected into Rowing NZ’s Elite Development Squad upon his recent return from America. Southern RPC's John Storey took silver and Chris Harris of Central RPC took bronze.

Women’s Club Coxless Quad

Nelson Rowing Club's Lucy Munro, Macy Kappely, Nicole Campbell and Sophie Hawkins took gold in the women's club quad. North Shore's Orla Cuffe, Sienna Norman, Megan Farquhar and Zoe Corboy took silver, with West End's Amy Patten, Grainne Walsh, Charlotte Berry and Marieke Richards taking bronze.

Men’s Intermediate Eight

Blenheim Rowing Club won the men's intermediate eight with stroke Fred Vavasour, Samuel Feltham, Rhys Salvador, Dylan Burton, Ashley-James Fitzgerald, Leon Poswillo, Flynn Mercer, Buster Jennings and coxswain Walter Wickham. Tauranga Rowing Club took silver and Dunstan Arm took bronze.

2021 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships Female Rowers of The Year - Champions Cup

After winning the women’s premier single and double scull, Brooke Donoghue of Waikato RPC was awarded the 2021 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships Female Rower of the Year.

Brooke started rowing at Mercer Rowing Club and Te Kauwhata College in 2010. She first represented New Zealand at the 2013 World Rowing Junior Championships in the women's quad, finishing 5th in Trakai, Lithuania.

After making the switch to Waikato Rowing Club and joining Waikato Rowing Performance Centre in the summer of 2013–14, Brooke went on to gain selection in the U23 quad that won bronze at the World Rowing U23 Championships. The following year she picked up a silver in the double at the same regatta. The women’s quad unfortunately failed to qualify for the 2016 Olympics at the ‘regatta of death’ in Lucerne, but Brooke began to emerge as one of New Zealand’s top female sculling prospects. In her breakthrough season in 2017 she joined forces with Olivia Loe in the elite women’s double. The duo went unbeaten through the international season, winning two World Rowing Cup regattas and Henley Royal Regatta and becoming the 2017 World Champions in Sarasota. In 2018 they won the World Rowing Cup II and III regattas before facing stiff competition at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, where they won silver behind Lithuania.

In 2019 Brooke was again selected into the women’s double sculls with Olivia Loe. Brooke and Olivia defended their World Rowing Cup II title and went on to win the Stonor Challenge Trophy for the women’s double sculls at the Royal Henley Regatta. After a successful start to their European season, they won gold at the 2019 World Rowing Championships, securing Olympic qualification in the process.

2021 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships Male Rower of the Year - Clarrie Healey Club

After winning both the men’s premier pair and double, Tom Mackintosh of Southern RPC was awarded 2021 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships Male Rower of the Year.

Tom began rowing at Lindisfarne College and Hawke’s Bay Rowing Club in 2012 at the age of 15. Within two years he found himself selected in the 2014 junior men’s coxed four. The crew raced to a bronze medal at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Hamburg, Germany. Tom took time after the World Rowing Junior Championships to focus on his study at the University of Canterbury. During that time he stayed involved with the sport at Rowing Performance Centre level and was also in the New Zealand Universities trans-Tasman team in 2015. In 2016 he was selected in the New Zealand U21 team that competed in a two-regatta series against Australia. The following year Tom was selected in the U23 men’s eight that went on to place 7th at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

In 2018 he moved into the U23 coxless four and took home a bronze medal from the U23 worlds in Poznan, Poland. When the New Zealand selectors decided to take on this young crew to compete at the elite World Rowing Championships in Bulgaria for experience, the crew achieved a final ranking of 15th at the regatta. In 2019 Tom was reselected into the men’s U23 coxless four, and he and his crew managed to take home a silver medal. Following the World Rowing U23 Championships Tom successfully trialled for the men’s elite coxless four, which finished 14th at the World Rowing Championships.

2021 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships Coach of the Year - Lud Brooker Memorial Salver

At the conclusion of today’s racing, Rowing NZ Elite coach James Coote was awarded 2021 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships Coach of the Year.

James Coote achieved remarkable success in the 2019 season with two of his crews both being crowned World Champions, and was named coach of the 2020 and 2021 women’s double and lightweight women’s double crews. James has also been instrumental in the development of Brooke Donoghue who was today named as the Female Rower of the Year.


The New Zealand Rowing Championships were first held in 1888 where a four race was held in Wanganui and a single sculls race was held in Wellington. The championships have been held every year since, with the exception of two intervals during the World Wars.

Principal Sponsor

Rocket Foods are Rowing NZ’s principal partners and naming rights sponsor to the Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships. Rocket Foods strives to provide the best wholesale bakery products to New Zealand, with their products sold at cafes, supermarkets and other eateries nationwide.